Ethiopians Shame Saudi Arabia On Twitter For Inhumane Treatment Of Migrant Workers

Twitter users have rallied around #SomeOneTellSaudiArabia as the kingdom launches a deadly crackdown on migrant workers from Ethiopia.

7. The campaign came after a recent uptick in violence against Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia, following a Saudi initiative to crack down on foreign workers violating visa rules.

Stringer / Reuters

8. Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom has said that so far this month at least three Ethiopians have been killed in Saudi Arabia, as raids and roundups have turned increasingly violent.

Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters

9. One Ethiopian was confirmed dead in a visa raid last week.

Stringer / Reuters

10. Over the weekend Saudi police forces clashed with Ethiopian and other African workers in Manfouha, a poor district south of the capital, Riyadh.

Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters

At least two people were killed, and hundreds arrested in the unrest.

12. BuzzFeed cannot verify the contents of this video.

13. Another video allegedly of a Saudi man beating a migrant worker sparked outrage last month, CNN reported. In the video, the abuser says he is beating the victim because the victim inappropriately looked at his wife.

BuzzFeed cannot verify the contents of this video.

14. In response, the Ethiopian government has started repatriating citizens, bringing Ethiopians illegally in Saudi Arabia home.

Stringer / Reuters

About 50% of Ethiopian youth are unemployed, and millions of Ethiopians each year seek work opportunities abroad. Hundreds of thousands head to Saudi Arabia to work as laborers or domestic workers. Many are sponsored by Saudi families or companies. Others come illegally, often paying smugglers high fees to enter.

Foreign workers make up a huge percentage of the Saudi work force. Nine million of Saudi’s 28 million inhabitants are reportedly foreigners. But Saudi Arabian law provides migrant workers virtually no legal protection from employee and police brutality.

In response to the latest outrage, activists started an online petition, calling on international human rights organizations to intervene. While the Ethiopian government faces it’s own accusations of human rights abuses, it has been quick to express outrage at the Saudi government. An Ethiopian delegation is reportedly heading to Saudi Arabia today to facilitate the repatriation process and discuss the latest abuses.

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